Fetsum: The renaissance of Eritrean Intellectualism in relation to Eritrea Focus
MANTRA of the moment in singularity: ዘይሻራዊ
The ultimate MANTRA in complete form: ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ
ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ
Gratitude: I thank Assenna for its relentless devotion in this resistance for freedom and democracy. It is very hard to express Assenna’s value in words and we are lucky to have it as the anchor of our media in the Diaspora and beyond. Thank you for doing more than your share and God bless you!
Reality: As you know the Civic Society and the political parties could have been resisting the dictatorship in many different ways. All of them could have claimed to be fighting for Democracy. We could have had different ideas and methods of struggle in the very long past to finally arrive at the common understanding that there is no other way of achieving the dream without going through a transitional government. Yet, we could not unify because we did not go beyond the generic meaning of the subject. We need to clearly identify the type of transition we want in our country because transitional government standing alone remains to be a mere expression without profile like trying to identify a person without name, gender and character.
There are few breeds of transitional government applicable to different socio-political conditions. Do we want Revolutionary, Incumbent, International or Power-Sharing transitional government in the next challenge and why? How do they differ from one another and what is common in all of them? Which one is the most applicable in and beneficial to our society? we cannot continue saying transitional government without identifying which one we want! This was in my opinion the biggest obstacle for our Conceptual Unity but NO MORE! Today, our family in Bayto (Awassa) has produced the ultimate solution in this regard that all of us must either accept or logically challenge based on universal merit. It is the Neutral Transitional Government we have been consistently fighting for the last decade at minimum. We cannot expect better than BAYTO’s ARTICLE 2. ዕማት ጊዜያዊ ስልጣን (መ) because neutrality is the pinnacle of justice. Everything that the society paid in this rugged resistance was to read the following manifestation and say it loud, meaning my search for solution ends at this ultimate expression developing the rest on this solid foundations remaining to be the main objective of my resistance from hereon.
“ኩሎም ፖለቲካዊ ሓይልታትን ምእንቲ ፍትሕን ዲሞክራስያዊ
ለውጥን ዝቃለሱ ህዝባዊ ምንቅስቓስን ብዝሳተፍሉ ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ
ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ የቕውም”
Ladies and gentlemen! There is no doubt Bayto has few problems concerning NEUTRALITY (legal relationship between the people and the political parties) that it is must purify through honest relationship with the Civic Society and at equal level of significance. But it is impossible to expect anything better than this fundamental democratic method of transition to scientific democracy because purity, righteousness, selflessness and love are functions of ዘይሻራዊነት or Neutrality. This is the best humankind can do in this regard because compassion, honesty and integrity are derivatives of ዘይሻራዊነት or Neutrality. You simply cannot impartially love the Eritrean people beyond Neutrality or ዘይሻራዊነት. Bring what you have in mind for us to discuss otherwise, but you cannot ignore this remedy vis-à-vis the Eritrean people’s urge for scientific democracy and their sacred connection with spirituality.
Folks, things have started to flow and we are packing for real, I mean for real this time. Events are taking place here and there and I feel something special will take place this year. As the Eritreans slowly move to structural unity through YiAKL et al. Eritrea Focus appears involved to deliver its essence in the conceptual dimension of the struggle. The potential of this group in taking the struggle to the next level is obvious but we will see the output in its second conference sometime this Summer.
Yet, when it rains it pours, this time for the Dictatorship! If Eritrea Focus was to be considered an uppercut the next story should be taken as a devastating body jab to the enemy; the mass movement (YiAKL et al) under eventual Global Leadership being the final knockout punch that will trash it at the end of the extraordinary drama. I am talking about The 2020 Manifesto of Eritrean Scholars and Professionals in the Diaspora that came to existence after the Corona Virus crisis. It currently comprises about 112 PhDs in different academic and professional backgrounds worldwide. The number is expected to increase towards embracing all Eritrean Doctors on planet earth. Bless the bliss and I accept it with gratitude but you must have PhD to be a member, at least for now. Even my honorary PhD (awarded by only 3 or 4 Eritreans who refused to accept me as I am)) would not help me sneak into this cream of the society, nor would it allow me to peep through the window unnoticed. The latest information says the group will start including non-PhD Eritreans soon. Kool, very good but I am enjoying the show from the periphery with extreme humility and joy, and I wish you the same.
We will chat about this extremely important topic in the next show. For now, here is Eritrea Focus’s latest release in part.
“In April 2019, Eritrea Focus in collaboration with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, held a successful two-day conference on Building Democracy in Eritrea. The conference record can be found on our website: www.eritrea-focus.org. Since then, 24 experts nominated by the conference have been undertaking an extensive and detailed study into six strands that are envisaged to form the cornerstone to a transition plan from dictatorship to rule of law in Eritrea. The six strands, in no particular order, are:
Strand 1: Foreign policy. Regional and international relations;
Strand 2: Rule of law and justice. This strand is led by the Eritrean Law Society;
Strand 3: Economy and regional integration. The Eritrean economy is on its knees and the country quite literary is “bankrupt” with exceptionally low foreign currency reserves. How can it be salvaged?
Strand 4: Work together to build a new Eritrea that is at peace with itself and its neighbors. Formulate a framework of unity that is inclusive of all faiths, regions, gender and age of the Eritrean people both inside the country and in diaspora;
Strand 5: Engage with international democracies. What needs to be done to ensure more effective international advocacy and lobbying? What lessons can be learnt from the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eritrea?
Strand 6: Lessons from other countries that transitioned from dictatorship to rule of law. What are the lessons for Eritrea and how best can they be replicated?”
Comment: This is beautiful and thank you brothers and sisters for showing up at the right time; at a moment when the people are desperately waiting for intellectual interference. Apparently, human beings must rely on clarity of thought, purity of motive and integrity of action to produce the best result in everything, says my Master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. The question is how the wisdom may apply to Eritrea Focus’s ongoing effort and please enjoy my input with settled state of mind.
In terms of clarity of thought, I believe the six strands focus on the most important subjects of the society. Confining the topics as such and studying them using qualified citizens can only produce a sustainable result. Eritrea Focus appears clear of the immediate challenges of the people namely, justice and rule of law, foreign policy, unity, alignment with international democracies and most importantly, backing up our journey to democracy with lessons learned from other experiences in the third world.
In my opinion, success in this regard will mainly depend on the quality of the cumulative research. Then follows the capacity to contact relevant Institutions such as the Sudanese Transitional government and other African scholars and democratic elements with confidence. The Sudanese factorial is important here because the transitional government is about to change the current military leader to a civilian for the remaining half of its mandate after few months ahead. Among others, this transition should be exploited towards constructive relationship between the opposition and the Sudanese government based on genuine democratic values. Eritrea Focus should initiate the contact and I hope this will be the case soon.
“Purity of motive is when we do something for God, humanity, the sick, the poor, a friend – not for ourselves. That being said, it is also important for us to know that pure-hearted service and worship do have a benefit on our souls and are the very means to their upliftment in this world and the next.” I think purity of motive necessarily involves fairness for the most part because politicians motivated by self-interest such as ethnicity, religion, power, fame, wealth etc. cannot satisfy the Eritrean people’s ultimate democratic upshot; it requires absolute NEUTRALITY based on universal merit. There is no doubt the group has more than capacity to academically complete the Strands and I am optimistic it will deliver with pure motive for genuine democracy to help the people by the book. The fact remains, strands 5 and 6 are the ultimate litmus taste for purity of motive that determine our future in general and democratic dream in particular. Because the collective success in Strands 1-4 depends on the quality of research and impartial conclusion taken on Strands 5 and 6.
The last is Integrity of action: “Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values.” Integrity is reducing what was said to practice. It “implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. Honor suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one’s profession, calling, or position.”. Still, this also depends on Neutrality or ዘይሻራዊነት and the final product will tell the story in this aspect but so far so good!!
Eritrea Focus will have a second conference soon and here is that portion of the Press Release:
“Building Democracy in Eritrea – Second Conference
The purpose of the second conference is to receive reports from each of the expert group noted above and to formulate a draft transition blueprint for public consultation. To this end, Eritrea Focus secured the necessary funding in September 2019 and its Board of Directors have agreed the following:
- A physical conference in London – this conference will be held in early June 2020 and we expect approximately 80 invited delegates to take part; and
- A virtual conference – this will be a one-day supplementary conference to the second and will be held in late June 2020. We expect up to 200 invited delegates to take part from around half a dozen countries. Delegates to this virtual conference will be sent an updated version of the draft blueprint beforehand so it can be refined further before the commencement of a public consultation.
A Conference Organizing Committee has been constituted, and they can be reached by email (email@example.com) for anyone who wishes to make constructive suggestion on the forthcoming event. Habte Hagos Chairman” END
In conclusion, nationalism is very important in the struggle of our society for freedom. But it can be dangerous if it doesn’t blend with neutrality as we have witnessed the damage from many nationalists without universal cause since the onset of the Independence struggle. Many of them were doing their thing from localized points of view and never cared about studying democracy from universal school of thought. I hope Eritrea Focus will deliver otherwise! The fact remains that ኤርትራዊነት alone is not enough to change the situation ብዘይ ዘይሻራዊነት and the medias specially our anchor ASSENNA should from now on persistently teach for ቴክኖክራታዊ (ዘይሻራዊ) ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ or ዘይሻራዊ ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ instead of for ሃገራዊ ሓድነታዊ መሰጋገሪ መንግስቲ without identification. Assenna should as usual serve the people at the front line of the Media focusing on upgrading the anarchic understanding of the concept. Assenna can help the many emotional media sources to exit from the cycle of ignorance and redundancy through the power of ዘይሻራዊነት into the deal because you will be surprised about the qualitative difference between the two expressions and their overall effect on our society. The best example for us is the confusion in the Ethiopian democratic process because of the “government’s tendency to abuse the essence of NEUTRALITY” in the country’s upcoming election. We don’t want Eritrea to face such problems in the transition stage around the corner. Please stay tuned for my opinion on The 2020 Manifesto of Eritrean Scholars and Professionals in the Diaspora and relax!